What are the biggest health risks to your dog?

At PetSafe® Brand, we know dogs really are a man’s best friend! Our furbabies are a huge part of our lives and we hope that they’ll be happy and healthy their whole lives. And watching out for some ‘tell-tail’ signs in your pet’s health means you can keep them at their best. We take a look at the biggest health risks below…

Diabetes

A golden retriever dog lying in bed feeling cold

It’s estimated that 1 out of every 100 dogs will develop diabetes, and is most likely to occur between the ages of 4 and 14. And, unspayed female dogs are twice as likely as male dogs to suffer from diabetes.

Symptoms:

  • Drinks more water than usual
  • Urinates more often, produces more urine per day, or has accidents in the house
  • Always acts hungry but maintains or loses weight
  • Has cloudy eyes

You can find out more about pet diabetes in our earlier blog post and find out the likelihood of your dog developing diabetes.

Obesity

A pug dog lying down looking up

Estimates show that up to 1 in 3 dogs are overweight in the UK, simply through eating too much or exercising too little. The PDSA found that there were two main causes of pet obesity; overfeeding in general and feeding pets treats such as cheese, chips, and crisps throughout the day.

Effects of obesity:

  • arthritis
  • urinary tract problems
  • low thyroid hormone production
  • liver disease
  • torn knee ligaments

For tips on how to get on the move with your canine companion, you can read our blog post ‘don’t just take your dog for a walk, take him for a run’.

Arthritis

Border Collie Australian shepherd dog on brown leather couch under blanket looking sad

Arthritis is, unfortunately, very common in our furry friends with 1 in 5 dogs affected by it in their lifetime. It’s a lot more common in older dogs as their bones become degenerative and eventually affect their movement.

Signs to look out for:

  • Slow to get up
  • Hesitant climbing steps, jumping up, running etc.
  • Less active and playful
  • Lying down and sleeping more

It might not be possible to treat arthritis but there are steps you can take to make it easier on your pet. A balanced and nutritious diet and regular walks will help keep your pooch at their best.

In an earlier blog post, we asked a vet ‘What health advice would you give to pet owners…?’ Read the full interview here.

Cancer

Yellow lab enjoying the fall air in the back yard

Sadly, 1 in 3 dogs will develop cancer, and the three most common areas affected are the skin, the digestive system and the breast. Although it is a horrible thought to face, being informed what to look out for in your pup will help you identify the next steps with the help of a vet.

Symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Limping
  • Recurrent digestive problems

For help and support if your dog has cancer, you can find more information here at Blue Cross: Coping with Cancer in Dogs.

Enjoying time with your dog is important not just to keep your eye on their physical condition but also to connect with them, and deepen the bond that can only truly come from man’s best friend.

Do you have any stories to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.

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Filed under Dogs, Pet Health